Ski helmets a must for insurance provider

31st October 2012, by Abi Butcher

From 1 November, Essential Travel requires all skiers and snowboarders to wear a helmet

From 1 November, Essential Travel requires all skiers and snowboarders to wear a helmet

If you’re not wearing a ski helmet, you won’t be covered on insurance with one UK firm from 1 November.

From tomorrow, wearing a helmet while skiing or snowboarding is mandatory for anyone taking out a winter sports policy with insurance company Essential Travel.

“While a helmet does not reduce all sports injury, it seriously reduces the risk of potentially fatal injuries,” said Essential Travel chief executive Stuart Bensusan.

“That alone warrants making helmets compulsory, and we choose to completely support safety conscious skiers by rewarding them with reduced premiums and bonus discounts.”

By making ski helmets mandatory, Essential Travel says it can reduce winter sports premiums by 15 per cent, and offer discounts with tour operators and sports retailers — such as Neilson Holidays and Ellis Brigham.

The company also pledges to donate £1 for each policy bought to the brain injury charity Headway.

Helmet usage is undoubtedly on the increase — America’s National Ski Areas Association reports that 67 per cent of skiers and boarders now choose to wear one, between 60 and 70 per cent don a helmet in Austria and 84 per cent of skiers and boarders wear a helmet in Switzerland — and in some resorts and countries it is also mandatory.

But the research is less clear-cut. Though one report by the University of Innsbruck in Austria in 2011, shows helmets reduce general head injuries 35 per cent among adults and 59 per cent among children, another report presented in September by the American College of Emergency Physicians concluded that head injures had risen by 50 per cent.

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